Kiev, March 20, 2023
His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine and several other top hierarchs of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church are currently outside the Office of the President of Ukraine in hopes of formally conveying to him their official position on recent events (as of 1:30 PM Kiev time).
The Holy Synod of the UOC gathered today to formulate a response to the state’s plans to drive the brotherhood of the Kiev Caves Lavra out of its home, which has yet to be published.
The hierarchs are currently waiting outside, and it is unclear if they will be received. The delegation includes His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil, the Chancellor of the UOC, His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod, the abbot of the Kiev Caves Lavra, His Eminence Metropolitan Kliment of Nezhin, the head of the Information-Education Department, His Eminence Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye, His Eminence Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa, and others.
“The members of the Synod have written an appeal to President Vladimir Zelensky and want to personally explain to him the current situation as it really is. This appeal is very important for the Holy Synod of the UOC and the further actions of the Synod depend on how adequately the state leadership responds to the position of the millions believers of the UOC,” explained Vladyka Kliment.
“We believe that the President is not being given true information about the UOC. Judging by the statements that have been made, information about the UOC is being distorted and a false image of our believers is being created. We have always been in favor of a constructive relationship, striving to develop relations between the state and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Such a dialogue is an important aspect related to the development of civil society.”
Around 1:30, an employee of the Office came out to the hierarchs to receive their appeal, but the hierarchs maintained that they want to personally hand their appeal to the President. The press secretary of the Office of the President later announced that Pres. Zelensky will not meet with the hierarchs today.
A live broadcast is being shown on the site of the Information-Education Department: